A PLAY which helped raise awareness across the district of modern slavery has had dramatic results.

The hour-long production – My Mind is Free – was performed at a series of workshops aimed at those working in frontline services, such as the police, NHS and voluntary organisations.

Following the sessions, Hope for Justice – which delivered the training – had several approaches relating to the issue.

“We received three pieces of intelligence from delegates and two referrals,” said Sara Squires, the organisation’s training and development manager.

“One referral was for a Slovakian family, which our investigators visited and made the appropriate referrals for support. The other case is ongoing.

“We also supported a local homeless shelter to make its own referral. The person who sought advice was a delegate, and the victim has now been safely repatriated to his home country.”

Eight workshops were staged across Bradford district, as well as in other parts of West and South Yorkshire.

Just over 300 professionals and volunteers attended the sessions, which were funded by Bradford-based interpreting service, Enable2.

The play told the inter-linked stories of four people trafficked to – and within – the UK and their horrifying tales of abuse, exploitation and enslavement.

It was nominated for awards and is set to tour again this year.

“The play gave those attending the chance to engage with the characters in a role-play exercise – highlighting the difficulties and barriers when dealing with modern slavery victims,” said Sara.

“The tour was a huge success and wouldn’t have being possible without partners such as Enable2.

“It was so successful we intend to run it again this year, with Enable2 support and other funding.

“The training enabled the delegates to examine what modern slavery is and identify the different types that exist, recognise the signs, identify referral pathways and which to follow if a victim or case is identified, and – importantly – know how to work with and support potential victims.

“From the feedback delegates gave, it is clear that the training has had a significant impact on them and their work.”

The workshops, staged by Sara and colleague Lauren Batty, covered local information and case studies.

“Modern slavery is an international and national problem that damages society and ruins lives,” added Sara.

“Hope for Justice exists to prevent modern slavery in all its forms, working to stop the exploitation of people and rescue and restore those people’s lives.”

For more details about the charity, visit hopeforjustice.org.